A visiting delegation from Singapore, led by its Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, on Friday, March 31, 2017, paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with the aim of deepening further the ties that exist between the two countries. For many years, Ghana and Singapore have enjoyed very good bilateral relations, and it is for this reason that Dr. Koon informed President Akufo-Addo that Singapore would want to invest more in Ghana, so as to use it “as a spring board into the larger West African countries”.
Aside the good bilateral relations that both countries enjoy, Dr Koh Poh Koon, indicated that officials from the two countries continue to co-operate in many other areas of mutual benefits to them.
“We have today received 650 officials from Ghana for capacity building and training over the years in areas such as education and economic policy making. And, this is something that we are happy and continue to support and to work closely with Ghanaians officials”, he said.
The Singaporean Minister of State for Trade and Industry noted that there is an increasing desire for companies based in his country to invest in Ghana.
He explained that “what we see today, in opening and extension of the plan by Olam International, is a testament to the kind of desire for companies to continue to expand their operations in Ghana. On top of that, the pupil to pupil ties have also increased. We now have Singaporean students from the university doing their internship in this country. From all levels, from the government to the people, we are witnessing deepening ties.”
In view of Dr. Koon, there are several other areas for Ghana and Singapore to connect and work together, and is, thus, hopeful that more companies from his country “would continue to support the growth and development of Ghana in meaningful ways”.
In welcoming the delegation, President Nana Akufo-Addo noted that their visit has come at an “appropriate time” when the people of Ghana have happily received the directions and policies contained in the ‘Asempa’ budget, which was read by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta.
The President reiterated his pledge of making Ghana an investment-friendly country, and pointed out that his government is doing all it can to clean up the business environment for investors to come and put their money in.
“We are taking measures in terms of taxation, monitoring and policy, along all these lines with the goal of attracting investment in Ghana”, the president stated.
He described Singapore as a country that has won the administration of the world through its achievements.
The President told Dr. Koon that “Singapore is a country that has won the administration of the world for their achievements, which you have been able to undertake in this last 50 to 60 years and, especially, in this country, there is a great admiration for what you have done”.
The achievements of Singapore, according to President Akufo-Addo, have built a desire in the hearts of many countries, especially Ghana, to try to replicate.
“Particularly, because a long time ago, the man who was responsible for putting everything together came here in Ghana in 1960. There are still memories of his visit to Ghana – the famous man Lee Kwan Yew. It is good that both countries have been able to sustain the relationship and we are to do more”, he said.